After a hard days work, BTI’s members spend the evening pursuing their passions and interests. Hobbies bring you joy, increase your eye for detail, keep your mind sharp and expand your creativity while helping you meet friends and learn valuable skills. They add interest to your life and help you become a better person. The BTI team has a wide variety of interesting hobbies to help keep their mind and body engaged, below are some of our amazing team members sharing their after hours interests:
Thera-lee – I spend three days a week at the YMCA practicing taekwondo. I have been doing it for over a year and a half now and I’m a blue belt going for my red stripe! Yay me! Practicing taekwondo has given me the ability to learn quickly and meet challenges head on. I went for my first competition this year and I’ve got to say, it was scary. I practiced A LOT and having listened to my coach I ended up fighting my way through a few competitors to take home gold!. It was an amazing feeling to stand on a podium and to hold a trophy, it made me realize that with a lot of dedication and practice you can achieve anything.
Mike Woodgate – I have always had a passion for art and a desire to create things. In my job at BTI, I get to explore and express my creativity through graphic design and creative writing. My other passion though, is for music, and has been since I was in high school. Since that time I have spent countless evenings and late nights playing drums and performing with various bands. Playing the drums really brings me into a great place, and there really is nothing quite like hearing the music push and pull to the rhythms that I create. Music is a common thread that connects me to most of my closest friends, of whom many are musicians and music lovers themselves. Currently I play in two bands: An original music project called the The Wednesdays and a rock and roll cover band called The Substitues.
Shashi –During the week, after arriving home from my long commute, I relax by catching up on the latest Indian soap operas (yes, I’m addicted to them!). I also devote a lot of my spare time growing my Event Management skills by volunteering with the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation Run for the Cure, which I have been a part of for the past 4 years. There is nothing more satisfying than seeing months of hard work and planning come to fruition by seeing the smiling faces of the participants, and knowing you played a part in that. I also assist with many events at my temple. I love to spend my free time with friends, family and becoming a child all over again when playing with my niece and nephew.
Parveen – I believe that work should not dictate your entire life: “work to live, not live to work”. In order for everyone to truly put in 110% effort while at the office, we need to live a more balanced, fruitful life complete with other activities and hobbies when not at the office. For me, those activities include coaching my son’s basketball and baseball teams, pumping iron, and enjoying as much time as possible with my wife and children.
Ritu– When I am not at BTI I am at the gym doing a variety of fitness classes and yoga that leave me feeling refreshed and energized. I also love to read and have read many genres of books over the past year as part of a book club that I organized with a few of my friends. I love escaping into the other worlds created by these stories. I also love the escape provided by live theatre and I see as many shows as possible. I am also the biggest cheerleader for my kids in their activities and I participate in their schools whenever possible to stay involved in their lives.
Arek – When I have free time I love to paint! Painting is a cleansing experience for me, which allows me to express my emotions and free my mind. You can enjoy some of my work on my Pinterest page. I hate being in the loud and busy city, so whenever I get the chance I escape to nature. My favourite activity is hiking because it gives me a chance to take my time and enjoy all the wonderful things that nature has to offer. Above all, I love my family. My wife and I love spending as much time as we can with our children, Adash and Maya. I love playing with my kids but I hate competition so I teach my kids to play inclusively, without worrying about always trying to “win” something. I also try my best to teach my children to love nature as much as I do by getting them to spend time outside instead of playing video games. Being a father is truly the most difficult but most rewarding experience in my life.
Amit – I have been volunteering with the Toronto Police Service since 2008, and serve as an Advisor in a Rover Crew out of 22 Division, continuously improving their website with my creative development. In the summer months I love to ride my bicycle, I try to ride 120 km per week, and take part in marathons whenever possible. When I can find some spare time and good weather, I love to get in a round of golf. During the cold winter months you can find me on the slopes snowboarding, or playing ice hockey. I just love keeping myself busy because it makes life more interesting.
Ahmed –When I’m not busy working on my latest project, you can find me watching soccer, enjoying the beauty of nature while kayaking, playing basketball (even though I’m not even close to being drafted by the NBA) or spending time with family.
Marlon – After the BTI day is done I’m already thinking about more stuff to do for the rest of the day. I spend time with the family after dinner like watching KPOP or playing with our poodle. Also, I’m always thinking about things: how stuff works, how to improve them or discovering something new. I’d be thinking of a new project, doing fixer-uppers or tinkering with my bikes. I’m also trying to get fit so I do occasional treadmill runs on top of my cycling activities. Striving for a healthier lifestyle gave me benefits such as a nimble body, a sharper mind, and overall improved well-being.
Stuart – I guess you can say that I’m a bit of a math nerd, and when I was in high-school my first part-time job was as a math tutor at a Kumon. What started out as an attempt to make some pocket change, ended up igniting my passion for teaching – not just teaching math, but teaching students to enjoy learning and building their confidence to try new things. It has been 6 years, and I still spend three days a week teaching at Kumon so that I can continue to teach and watch the students improve as they grow. Teaching has really helped me with my patience, communication and problem solving skills, and every day is something new.
Emily– When I’m not at BTI, I am following the multiple trails that my curiosities leave for me. I love being hands on by creating, fixing and modifying things, be it clothing, furniture, or even shoe stretching (thanks to my brand spankin’ new shoe stretcher!), to name a few. I love music, as a consumer of it and as a creator – the latter of which I intend to pursue more of. Seeing musicians I appreciate seems to never get old for me and I hope it never does. To keep fit, I find tennis, jogging, and a weight lift here and there to be pretty handy. Besides that, my growing appreciation for the Great Canadian outdoors, both local, and not so local, has been something I have been exploring more and more of. Growing up with a close knit family and great friends, I enjoy spending time with the people that mean the most to me. Having a variety of things that keep me motivated and engaged in different facets of life keeps me refreshed and constantly nurtures my love of life and learning.
Mike Lao – During the week, I like to spend my time cycling to work and joining Toronto bike meet-up groups. It’s a great way to stay fit, save money and at same time help the environment by reducing pollution, even if it’s just one car. Cycling has been a great new hobby for me that helps me stay active and at the same time enjoy our Canadian summer in a different way. Other than cycling a huge chunk of my time is used with taking photos of weddings and landscape during weekends and going for new mini adventures with my wife.
Jamie – When work at BTI is done for the day, I go back to my 24 hour a day job – mommyhood! Post 5pm, I can be found playing with transformers, sneaking veggies into smoothies and snuggling with, in my unbiased opinion, the cutest 3.5 year old in the world! Although not always easy, this happens to be the most rewarding job in the world. I also do my best to make time for myself to exercise (outdoor summer bootcamp, anyone?) and enjoy the company of my wonderful family and friends.
Pardeep – After work and chauffeuring my kids from hockey practices and games, I like to read books and watch movies. Movies have been a passion of mine since before DVDs were created. Do you remember Video disks – those large disks the size of 12” vinyl records? I usually find a movie from my extensive collection or watch it online. I enjoy watching everything from Sci-Fi to action to drama, especially movies that cause you to stand back and think. More recently, I have been enticed by books and movies touching on spirituality and finding one’s personal legend. I’m currently reading the entire set by Paulo Coelho and catching up on all off Tom Clancey’s novels.
Steve – Beyond BTI my passion is boating, I love to take my yacht out in Georgian Bay. I find that there is nothing more relaxing than being on calm water. I enjoy the sound of nature mixed in with some smooth jazz, and find that it’s the best way to enjoy my time off!